Harrogate - Waters, are those chalybeate and sulphureous springs, which rise in the villages of High and Low Harrogate, in the county of York.
Formerly, the chalybeate water only was used internally, and the sulphureous spring was exclusively employed as an external remedy. At present, however, considerable quantities of the latter are drunk for various complaints.
The sulphureous water is obtained from four springs, that rise apparently from a large bog situated at a small distance from the wells ; and which is composed of decayed vegetable matter, forming a black, half-fluid, fetid mass, four or five feet thick, and supported by a bed of clay and gravel.
When first drawn, the Harro-gate water is transparent, and emits a few air-bubbles. It possesses a strongly fetid sulphureous smell, similar to that of bilge-water; and is of a bitter, nauseous, and strongly saline taste. After being exposed for several hours to the open air, it becomes turbid, assumes a greenish colour, loses its sulphureous smell, and deposits sulphur at the bottom and sides of the vessel.
When first drunk, this water causes a slight giddiness and head-ach, but is speedily attended with a mild purgative effect, and its laxative properties continue, even after being kept for a moderate length of time.
Harrogate water is used in various disorders of the alimentary canal, and in those affections of the biliary system from which the former are generated. Its chief internal use, however, is in scro-phulous and cutaneous disorders; though it is also of considerable service, when applied externally to leprous eruptions, and other obstinate diseases of the skin. It is likewise a safe, and often a powerful remedy for the piles, as well as against the round worm, and ascarides, if such a quantity be drunk as will prove a brisk purgative. In general, such draughts are taken as will produce a sensible effect on the bowels : for this purpose, three or four glasses, containing somewhat more than half a pint each, should be swallowed in the morning, at moderate intervals. The water ought to be used cold and fresh from the spring, if the stomach can support it. In order to correct the nauseous flavour, Dr. GaRnett judiciously advises patients to eat a small portion of sea-biscuit, or coarse bread, instead of taking aromatic seeds, sugar-comfits, etc. By the former expedient, the offensive taste will be speedily removed, and the stomach not be cloyed ; a circumstance of the first consequence to invalids.